In response to an Associated Press story that describes Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as “seizing” the national spotlight, his Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told the Florida Capital Star this past week that the governor has earned his newfound respect among Republicans nationwide.
“Governor DeSantis has earned the national stage by demonstrating real leadership. For elected officials facing a crisis like COVID-19, it’s tempting to abdicate decision-making power to unelected bureaucrats in public health,” Pushaw said. “Governor DeSantis did the opposite. He sought out expertise from health professionals and scientists, he did his own research, and most importantly, he made decisions that were harshly criticized sometimes, but more than a year on, the data has proven that his approach was the right one.”
As the pandemic winds down, DeSantis has worked in tandem with the Florida Legislature to deliver on policies that are popular among Republican voters, most of whom supported former President Donald J. Trump.
DeSantis and Florida lawmakers banned vaccine passports, signed the nation’s first law penalizing tech companies for online censorship, ended the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools, and implemented an anti-rioting law meant to curb mob violence that has plagued American cities for years.
The governor is up for reelection in 2022, and according to recent polling, leads both of his Democrat opponents by a wide margin.
Meanwhile, politicos nationwide are watching DeSantis closely. They think he has larger ambitions.
“Hold the line. Don’t back down,” he said at a GOP fundraiser in Pittsburgh on May 20. “And in the state of Florida, with me as governor, I have only begun to fight.”
For now, Pushaw says DeSantis is succeeding in his effort to make Florida a model for other states.
“Florida’s COVID death rate is lower than average, economy is booming, kids have been in school in person all year, and almost a thousand Americans are moving to Florida every day, in large part because of Gov DeSantis’ policies enabling Florida to become an oasis of freedom for our country,” she said.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.